Baby Stuff - It's Not So Simple
By Thomas Morrone CFP®, CPA
Having a grandson on the way, we realize how many items need to be purchased to make sure the baby is safe, mobile, clean, happy, entertained, has a place to sleep, has a place to easily change his diapers, etc., etc., etc. Of course, Paul and Jill will have the brunt of the items at their house but rest assured Cathy and I will have our own inventory of things at our house as well. We already have some items that Cathy received from her sister because her grandsons have already gone through the stages for certain items. That is one of the things that amazes me is that many items are only used for a very short time. Once they are walking and then “toilet trained” some of the items go back in the closet or down in the basement in hopes of seeing the light of day for another baby.
It has been decades since we looked at baby items. It seemed so much simpler when we were raising our kids. There were so many less choices and only a few places to purchase them. Now, with a few key strokes, usually starting with www., you can find just about anything. A little searching on Google. A little shopping on Amazon. If you want to see reviews on a car seat, no problem. Maybe, you want to know what options there are with strollers. A few key strokes and the information is there in a flash. In our day, maybe you could find an issue of consumer reports that had an item featured that you were interested in. That was a long shot for sure. If you were lucky, maybe you had a good salesperson in the big box store that did care and knew something about the products. Another option might have been a trip to the library and look at some microfilm. I would get dizzy spinning that wheel while watching the screen images zip by (many may have no clue what I am talking about and then again others may be nodding your head remembering such an experience). Of course, you always asked friends, relatives and neighbors their opinions about what they have already purchased for their children. And then there were times, many times, you just went with the “this one looks good” decision. Both our kids grew up just fine with only minor bumps and bruises.
Anyway, even though now it is easier to do the research before an item is purchased, it may be more difficult to make the final decision. Too much information can become overwhelming and can hinder the decision making process. You can end up with paralysis by analysis. Let me just research a little more, look at a few more websites, post another item on FB or email or text a few more friends. When have you done enough research? Give me a break and buy the darn thing.
So, as we continue to plan for the delivery of our grandson, many hours of research lie ahead of us and we will love every keystroke.
Until the Next Tom’s Take...